03/12/2015 02:52 pm ET

How Ferguson's Legal System Echoes An Ugly Past

Scott Olson via Getty Images

In 2012, a 32-year-old black man named Michael was sitting in his car in Ferguson, Missouri, cooling off after playing basketball, when a police officer accused him of being a pedophile stalking children in the adjacent park. When he objected, according to a recent Justice Department report, he was arrested at gunpoint and charged with eight violations of the city’s municipal laws, one of which was giving his name as “Mike” instead of “Michael.”

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